Posted on March 13, 2019

Our “Fellow Citizens”: The ISIS Women in Britain and America

Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, March 13, 2019

If she is an American, Hoda Muthana is a traitor. Of course, if Hoda Muthana is an American, America has bigger problems.

Miss Muthana is the daughter of Ahmed Ali Muthana, a Yemeni diplomat. In 2014, after lying to her parents, she left Alabama and made her way to the Islamic State. From there, under the name “Umm Jihad,” she posted violent propaganda against the United States, including a call to use trucks to wage terrorist attacks.

On March 19, 2015, she tweeted: “Veterans,Patriot,Memorial etc Day parades..go on drive by’s + spill all of their blood or rent a big truck n drive all over them. Kill them.”

She also posted a picture of herself alongside other ISIS women holding their Western passports. The accompanying words were, “Bonfire soon, no need for these anymore.”

Miss Muthana claims she eventually regretted her decision to join the caliphate. She was captured last month and currently resides in a Syrian refugee camp. She says she wants to return to America and bring her son, whom she conceived with a Tunisian Islamic State fighter.

The mainstream media has given her sympathetic coverage. The Associated Press, for example, uses a flattering photo her attorney provided.

In a tweet, CNN called her an “Alabama woman” and used a picture of Muthana smiling with her child:

Other media outlets used the same photograph of her:

This contrasts with the ominous, snarling photographs mainstream media outlets usually use of white advocates—that is, when they don’t use stock photos of a swastika. NBC hosted an exclusive interview with Miss Muthana. There has been no condemnation from other mainstream media outlets for providing a terrorist with a platform (unlike when the Today show interviewed Patrick Casey of Identity Evropa).

During the interview, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel nodded and smiled during Miss Muthana’s answers. When confronted with her tweet about killing Americans, Miss Muthana said it was “not correct” and “crazy.” She did not offer an apology to the Americans whose lives she had threatened. Indeed, Miss Muthana displayed an entitled attitude about a potential return to the United States. “I know there is no problem [regarding my citizenship] and hopefully my lawyer is working on it and he will win the case,” she said. She also said she hoped Americans would excuse her behavior because of “how young and ignorant I was.” She was 19 when she defected to the Islamic State.

When asked if she and others should receive punishment, she answered:

Many therapy lessons, maybe a process that would ensure us [sic] will never do this again. Jail time? I don’t know if that has an effect on people. I need help mentally as well. I don’t have the ideology anymore but I’m just traumatized from my experience.

“Therapy lessons” and mental health counseling, presumably paid for by the government, are not much of a punishment for treason. Yet in a country where “Hanoi” Jane Fonda is still a movie star lecturing Americans about “racism,” it’s doubtful Miss Muthana will face much punishment if she can get back into the country.

President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have vowed not to let her in. However, Miss Muthana’s father is suing for his daughter to be admitted. The legal argument centers on whether Miss Muthana was born in the United States before or after Ahmed Ali Muthana lost his diplomatic immunity following the Yemeni civil war in the mid-1990s. If it was before, Miss Muthana does not receive “birthright citizenship,” despite being born in the United States, because birthright citizenship does not apply to foreign diplomats’ children. However, if it is after, she is, under the popular reading of existing law, “American.”

This reveals the absurdity of birthright citizenship. Because of this mistaken reading of the 14th Amendment, entire organizations have been created for “birth tourism” so foreigners can make sure their children automatically obtain American citizenship. Before the midterms, President Trump suggested he would abolish birthright citizenship via executive order, but he has done nothing.

Miss Muthana’s case would be a reversal of the usual situation, because while she may be legally “American,” her son is not. However, if she gains entry to the country, her son will almost certainly come with her. Thus, a boy fathered by a Tunisian Islamic State fighter will come to Alabama. What’s more, when Democrats return to power and the Census Department adopts the proposed “MENA“ category (Americans of Middle Eastern and North African descent), both Miss Muthana and her son will be eligible for affirmative action. If her media reception is any indication, Miss Muthana will also have no trouble accessing financial services or crowdfunding platforms, unlike white advocates.

Those interested in making sure American citizenship is easy to obtain are already helping her. The Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America is assisting with her case. It declares, “Citizenship is a core right under the Constitution, and once recognized should not be able to be unilaterally revoked by tweet—no matter how egregious the intervening conduct may be.” Rose Cuison Villa, a “chancellor’s social justice scholar” and the founder of the Rutgers Center on Immigration Law, Policy and Justice, wrote in the Star-Ledger that Miss Muthana’s case is simply part of the “federal government’s problematic ploy to undermine the Citizenship Clause, which has included criticizing ‘anchor babies’ and seeking to revoke the Citizenship Clause by executive action.” Thus, championing Miss Muthana’s cause is also a way of fighting immigration restrictions.

A similar controversy is taking place in the United Kingdom. Shamima Begin left the United Kingdom to go to the Islamic State at age 15. She has one child (two others died) and says she wants to return to England. She seemed to accept even less responsibility than Miss Muthana. Unlike the “Alabama teen,” Miss Begum has not forthrightly condemned the Islamic State and even partially justified the 2017 Manchester attack because it was “kind of retaliation” for the coalition attacks on the Islamic State. When it comes to her own sense of being British, she said, “I actually do support some British values and I am willing to go back to the UK and settle back again and rehabilitate and that stuff.” These comments suggest that she seems to think she would be doing the British people a favor by returning.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid (a man of Pakistani descent) recently stripped Miss Begum of her citizenship. Javid said British residents who joined the Islamic State have “shown they hate our country and the values that we stand for.” Yet what are those undefined values? Gary Younge, a black Guardian columnist on the race beat, claims, “Shamina Begum has a right to British citizenship, whether you like it or not.” Like some of those who support Miss Muthana, he wants Miss Begum to retain citizenship because of his racial interest. “For those of us whose parents hail from elsewhere, our right to be here seems to depend on anything from what we think to whether and how we transgress,” he writes. “We must prove good character not to get here but to stay here.”

Of course, not joining a foreign terrorist group is a low bar for “good character.” Yet Mr. Younge makes an important point. He defends the inalienable nature of citizenship. “Citizenship is not about character,” he says. “It is not about risk or regret.”

However, he errs when he defines it purely in legal terms. “It is about rights and responsibilities,” he continues. “It applies to everyone who qualifies or it does not apply.”

Yet citizenship is more than a legal term. It is about identity and loyalty. In the case of both Miss Muthana and Miss Begum, citizenship and identity have become utterly divorced. Since the categories of “American” and “British” are distinct from race, culture, and ancestry, it’s not surprising the Anglo-American world now confronts “citizens” whose primary loyalty is to their foreign religion. Nonetheless, they still display an entitled attitude about the benefits supposedly due them.

Such issues will become more common in the future because of demographic change. For example, “Little Mogadishu” in Minneapolis, the same area that elected Ilhan Omar, is an Islamic terrorist recruitment center in the United States. European nations with large Muslim populations are dealing with both homegrown radicals and “citizens” who joined terrorist groups abroad. To borrow from Mao’s analysis of guerrilla warfare, foreign populations in Western nations provide the “sea” that sustain the terrorist “fish.”

Mr. Younge unwittingly provides an answer why. “We, as a society, should in some way be held accountable for how a 15-year-old girl went from watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians to joining a terrorist cult in a war zone,” he states. Yet junk television is hardly something to encourage. If “British” or “Western” culture is defined by celebrity culture and consumerism, there’s no reason for immigrants or non-white citizens to feel loyal to the West. Non-whites will look for alternative sources of meaning. Racial mysticism, ethnic gangs, and extreme forms of non-Western religions will always seem more authentic and honorable than assimilating into a self-loathing society.

These cases also raise important questions for whites. If Miss Muthana and Miss Begum are “fellow citizens,” then the United States of America and the United Kingdom aren’t really nations at all. They have no defining race, ethnicity, or culture. Instead, they are simply bureaucracies presiding over random populations in certain territories. Worse, because racial awareness is forbidden for whites, whites are stripped of any identity except that of conflating ourselves with these administrative units. It’s not surprising that so many whites succumb to self-loathing or nihilism when their “national culture” is corporate pop culture and anyone in the world can potentially claim their “national identity.”

The real issue is not whether Miss Muthana and Miss Begum are “citizens,” or whether they should be allowed back. The real issue is whether they are “American” or “British” in any real sense. If so, these categories are almost devoid of meaning. If Anglo-America has reached this sad state, then whites need to start asking hard questions about what truly defines our identity. A country that belongs to everyone isn’t a country at all. Rather than being “fellow citizens” with Miss Muthana and Miss Begum, whites need to start working to build a country for ourselves.